Looking for what to do in London in July? With the weather warming up and restrictions potentially lifting, July in London promises to be an exciting time for going out and experiencing the city again. While we all still need to be careful and practice social distancing, hand hygiene and mask-wearing, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy some of the fun events the city has in store for July!
At 24Social, we keep an eye on what’s happening all around the UK, and these are some of the events we reckon you won’t want to miss in July. Including immersive experiences, music festivals, film screenings, live comedy, DJ sets and much, much more, these are the reasons to get excited about being in London for the summer. Whether you prefer to be outdoors with a cocktail in hand, soaking up those rays, or inside enjoying a bit of arts and culture, or partying until the dawn hours, there are events on offer that should suit you down to the ground.
So shake off those lockdown blues, book yourself a pub table or two, grab a mask and some hand sanitiser, and let’s get stuck right in!
The best July events in London
1. Spitalfields Music Festival 2021
Location: Around East London
Dates: July 1-11
Find out more: spitalfieldsmusic.org.uk
To dive headfirst into a bit of culture, check out the various events being put on around East London as part of Spitalfields Music Festival 2021.
Highlights include a place to call home, by Alicia Jane Turner (pictured above), an immersive sound and video installation tucked away in an 1800s flat above The George Tavern. Turner uses music and visuals to explore LGBTQ+ culture in London, and how queer people have faced persecution. Alternatively, head to Dalston’s Café OTO for a musical meeting of minds between Kit Downes and Tom Challenger, who have crafted a collection of interpretive melodies with the aid of Irish vocalist Lauren Kinsella.
2. Visit Buckingham Palace
Location: Buckingham Palace, Westminster, SW1A 1AA
Dates: From 9 July
Find out more: rct.uk/visit/buckingham-palace
From the 9th of July, the Queen’s Wesmtinster residence throws open its doors for the annual dusting, and a few visitors might be able to sneak in to pocket a few doilies before being removed by security.
We kid, of course – Buckingham Palace is immensely welcoming to visitors, and it’s well worth booking to see its famous State Rooms. Also, this summer, the famous Buckingham Palace Garden is open for the curious, providing visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to picnic in sight of the royal residence.
3. Balham Comedy Festival
Location: The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, Balham, SW12 9HD
Dates: July 9-18
Find out more: balhamcomedyfestival.com
Live comedy is back, baby! The Balham Comedy Festival is kicking off with a bang, with ten nights of side-splitting hilarity. The line-ups include both well-established household names and some of the most exciting up-and-coming talent around right now. Also, there are a few slots reserved for secret guests… so start your guesses now as to who might be showing up! We’d recommend trying to get in to see Maisie Adam (July 10th), Dane Baptiste (11th) or Yuriko Kotani (17th), but you’ll see someone great no matter which night you go. The shows end on the 18th with headliner Rhod Gilbert, marking the end of one of the best July events for comedy fans.
4. Book a pub to watch the UEFA Euros 2020
Location: Anywhere there’s a pub and a telly!
Dates: Until July 11
At time of writing, it is still not clear whether it is, or in fact is not, coming home. But whether you’re cheering for England or any of the other teams playing in this year’s long-delayed Euros competition, why not book a pub table to make it extra enjoyable?
We’ve already put together a quick list of some of the best pubs to watch the Euros – including several great spots in London. Got a group together with people coming from different ends of the city? Then somewhere central like Covent Garden’s The Porterhouse is a really good choice. You could also head east, and duck into Shoreditch’s Bar Kick, which also has plenty of table football tables for a competition after the life-sized game. Or for a more northerly session, how about Belushi’s Camden (pictured above)? Its booths have their own screen, letting you relax in a reasonably private setting.
5. Pure Cinema Experience: Nostalgia
Location: Pitch Stratford, 2 Bridge Road, E15 3FF
Dates: July 14, 21, 28
Find out more: purecinema.net
Taking up residence in Stratford’s Pitch, a hot new cinema venue, Pure Cinema Experience is hosting its Nostalgia series throughout July. These immersive events promise to take you back in time to enjoy some truly classic films from the past. This month includes Dirty Dancing, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and The Bodyguard. This truly eclectic selection that should have something for any film fan who wants to scratch that nostalgic itch! Grab a seat and a cocktail and enjoy an outdoor screening in the sun with one of the best July events for cinephiles in London.
6. Van Gogh Alive
Location: Kensington Gardens, East Albert Lawn, SW7 2AP
Dates: Throughout July
Find out more: vangoghaliveuk.com
This gorgeous, multi-sensory appreciation of the works of the great painter Van Gogh has taken up residency at Kensington Gardens, just opposite the Royal Albert Hall. Experience the various places where Van Gogh created his masterworks. The show uses SENSORY4™ immersive technology, helping transport you to the Netherlands, Arles, Saint Rémy and Auvers-sur-Oise. A classical score sets the mood as a display comprising more than 3,000 images takes you inside the paintings of Van Gogh – literally!
7. Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience
Location: 56 Leadenhall St, EC3M 5JG
Dates: Throughout July
Find out more: thewaroftheworldsimmersive.com
The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, they said. Already singing along to that classic tune? Then get down to Leadenhall Street for the immersive version of Jeff Wayne’s 1970s rock opera, based on H.G. Wells’ classic science fiction novel. With live actors and VR headsets, the show lets you experience the Martian invasion of London like never before! Although we’re pretty sure Wells’ novel didn’t have a section where the fleeing humans took a break to relax in the bar with a cocktail. Ah well, adaptation always requires compromise. Bottoms up – and keep watching the skies!
8. Electronic Sessions Boat Party
Location: The Golden Flame Boat, Temple Pier, WC2R 2PN
Date: July 31
Find out more: Tickets
London’s best boat party returns for the first time since lockdown, and the organisers have gone all out to celebrate. This means picking out some of the best, most popular DJs who have rocked the boat’s two floors. This covers the past 15 years of partying aboard The Golden Flame, just off Temple Pier.
The line-up for July 31st includes DJs Ross Donworth, Jes Eyre, Paul Ryder and lots more. The vibe is firmly set to summer! This means the party is set to continue long after the sun goes down. So don’t worry if you’re a little nautically nervous; you’ll have plenty of time to get your sea legs.
There’s loads going on in London throughout the month of July. We hope we’ve given you some inspiration to make the most of what the city has to offer! For more ideas for things to do, check out all our articles on music and events, so you can always be at the forefront of cultural goings-on in your city.